What should WWE do next with Adam Cole?

Adam ColeFormer Ring of Honor world champ Adam Cole has done what he needed to do in NXT. He put Aleister Black over on Black’s trek up the ladder to the NXT title. Most recently, he put Ricochet over in an awesome match on this past weekend’s NXT Takeover: Brooklyn show.

There’s nothing else for Cole to do in NXT at this stage. The Tommaso Ciampa-Johnny Gargano feud will consume the NXT title picture for the foreseeable future. Cole is wasted in tag teams.

So, send him to the main roster. Seems logical.

It was odd listening to the otherwise great “Busted Open” on Sirius XM on Monday in relation to Cole and his future. Host Dave La Greca and co-host Bully Ray think there’s no place for Cole on the Raw or Smackdown rosters right now, thus it would seem best to leave him where he is.

A caller suggested Cole being inserted in the U.S. title picture, but the “Busted Open” guys think Cole isn’t over enough with the WWE Universe for a sudden elevation into the title picture. Even though the title we’re talking about is a mid-card title. And, OK, so what about Bobby Roode, who was thrust into the U.S. title picture at his call-up, or Finn Balor, who was installed as the first Universal champion within a few weeks of his debut on Raw?

Those examples, to the “Busted Open” guys, actually back the idea that Cole shouldn’t get called up right now, because look at what WWE is doing with Roode and Balor. Roode, a top-shelf heel in his days in TNA and then his run in NXT as the top champ, was recast as a babyface, and is currently in a program with Mojo Rawley.

Balor, for his part, had to famously give up the Universal title after a one-day reign due to injury, and he most recently appeared on SummerSlam in a squash-match win over Baron Corbin.

So, back to Cole. Seems to me that you could make a good case to have him appear tonight on Smackdown Live and challenge Shinsuke Nakamura, who is right now without a dance partner, having vanquished Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam.

The notion that Cole isn’t over with the WWE Universe is nonsense. His “Adam Cole Bay-Bay!” catchphrase was the pop of the night at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.

And before you say, well, that was the NXT crowd, we’re not talking 300 people at a TV taping in Florida. Barclays had 15,000-plus for Takeover: Brooklyn.

Cole has the aura of a Shawn Michaels. He feels like a guy who will be the head of a stable like a DX once creative figures that out about him.

Eventually, he’s a challenger for A.J. Styles, and you can just imagine those two talking trash with each other on the way to a WWE title showdown at WrestleMania, a match that would steal that show, if it were to ever happen.

Cole, now that he has passed on the North American title to Ricochet, is done in terms of any usefulness to NXT.

Time to make money with him.

Column by Chris Graham

augusta free press

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